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Programming for EnterpriseDB Advanced Server: A Primer
Oracle Tips by Burleson

Programming in EnterpriseDB Advanced Server offers you a choice of languages.  There are many optional languages available and EnterpriseDB Advanced Server ships with PL/pgSQL (the PostgreSQL procedural language) and with the EnterpriseDB Superset Procedural Language (SPL).  This chapter will concentrate on SPL but will briefly cover PL/pgSQL and a couple of the optional languages, PL/TCL and PL/Perl.

SPL has as its roots Pascal, ADA and Oracle's PL/SQL.  SPL is a 3GL with 4GL-ish capabilities.  It is a language with a low learning curve to get started but that can be extended to take you anywhere you need to go.

If you are experienced in PL/SQL, you will jump into SPL with little to no learning curve.  If you are experienced in PostgreSQL PL/pgSQL, Pascal, Delphi or ADA, you will be able to be productive very quickly.  If you are coming from a C or Java type background, the curve may be a little steeper than a Wirth style language but still not difficult.  As a matter of a fact, if you have no programming experience at all, SPL is an excellent learning ground.

SPL makes use of many best practices such as modularity, information hiding, encapsulation, reuse, exception handling, and more.  SPL, like any other robust language, will allow you to write bad code.  No language can protect you from yourself.  SPL does give you all the tools to quickly write solid, stable code.  All you need to know is what features the language makes available.

This chapter concentrates mainly on SPL.  I will walk through many of the details of this robust language and create some example code that will help explain the uses of SPL and I will try to show some best practices in coding.

Programming in EnterpriseDB Advanced Server is not restricted to SPL.  If you are familiar with PL/pgSQL, you can continue using that language.  The same goes for the other supported PostgreSQL languages.  I will not cover every language that PostgreSQL supports.  I will briefly cover how you can take advantage of the other languages to make your life easier.

SPL is highly compatible with Oracle's PL/SQL.  As we work through this primer on SPL, I will point out where SPL differs from PL/SQL.  In later chapters, I will explain how to design and code your applications so that you can maintain compatibility between EnterpriseDB Advanced Server and Oracle.  In my opinion, the ability to run your applications on both platforms gives you, and your business, the best bang for your buck for what both EnterpriseDB and Oracle offers.

* Note:  Unlike Oracle's PL/SQL, SPL is not pre-compiled.  The text of your procedures and functions are parsed and stored but the actual compilation is not done until runtime.  To improve performance, the compiled version, and the plans for the SQL inside are cached for future calls.


This is an excerpt from the book "EnterpriseDB: The Definitive Reference" by Rampant TechPress.


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